Moderator: Collette Dunn – Milliman
Expert: Gordon Henderson, AXA PPP Healthcare
Let’s look at issues around healthcare for those in later life.
- With all the pressures on the NHS, we want to encourage people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Independent living is to be encouraged. However, it isn’t always that easy and sometimes they need the support of their family.
- So this is another call for new thinking. In Asia, the culture is for families to care for their elderly family members – in fact they are respectful of all that accumulated wisdom (the writer says wistfully).
- In the West, we are not always quite so caring … so is there some way in which we can “encourage” or “nudge” families into being more supportive of their elderly relatives? Create an ecosystem?
- Gordon Henderson, AXA-PPP, presented selected data and information to inform the context of caring for the elderly and the needs of this age group.
- We have an ageing population (10 million in 2010 rising to an estimated 19 million in 2050) and as people age there is a higher risk of accidents. For example, falling is a major risk for the elderly with 1 in 3 of those over 65 years having a fall and 1 in 2 of those over 75 years. Falls are the leading cause of disability and death from injury in this age group. The fear of falling reduces the quality of life of people once they have had a fall.
- The growing elderly population and their increased need for healthcare, places increased pressure on limited resources. For example, of those over the age of 75 years, 75% have a chronic condition. A 65 year old woman can expect to live, on average, for a further 11 years free from disability and a further 9.7 years with a disability.
- There are many opportunities for better eldercare. However, at present there is no single point of information to go to for help with eldercare that can be accessed by either the elderly person, or their children. Commercial organisations provide financial information and advice, for example the Skipton Building Society, Just Retirement and Nationwide. Many are focussing on offering the right customer propositions and improving the service and products they currently offer. We also have healthcare organisations, such as AXA-PPP, offering health information, advice and services. Coupled with these commercial organisations, we noted that there are some excellent charities, such as Age Concern, and of course the NHS and Social Services.
- In this context, we discussed some of the great technology available to keep elderly people safe and in their own homes for as long as they want. For example, watches that trigger an alarm if the wearer falls and doesn’t move for one minute.
- Whilst all the organisations mentioned above, and others, do excellent work for elderly people, they do not currently work together to provide a one-stop-shop for eldercare. One of the commercial organisations in the group mentioned that they had approached the NHS and Social Services but neither were willing to work with them on providing a single point for eldercare.
- We discussed the idea of some of the organisations working together to form an ‘ecosystem’ to provide this single point of access for eldercare. This would be likely to involve a single interface that would direct people to the appropriate organisation to help them. Ideally the interface would be more than a platform and would actually help in the provision of joined-up advice (currently advice on eldercare is given in silos). We discussed whether this could be run as a commercial model. Our view was that there is a huge unmet need in the UK and that most of the pieces to form the solution – the ‘ecosystem’ – were already in place.